Trying to find a likely classic era (Clarke/Asimov/Bradbury time) science fiction short story. It had to do with a traveling man (salesman?) who was always, always traveling in some sort of precipitation. He kept a diary of all the weather.

It turned out it was because he was actually a god of rain.

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    For the benefit of future searchers brought here by the question title, I want to mention another work. In Isle of the Dead by Roger Zelazny, the main character, Francis Sandow, has become the Pei'an storm god Shimbo of Darktree, Shrugger of Thunders.
    – Buzz
    Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 20:20

1 Answer 1


This is likely Douglas Adams' So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish. Lorry driver Rob McKenna is, though he doesn't know it, a god of rain:

And as he drove on, the rainclouds dragged down the sky after him, for, though he did not know it, Rob McKenna was a Rain God. All he knew was that his working days were miserable and he had a succession of lousy holidays. All the clouds knew was that they loved him and wanted to be near him, to cherish him, and to water him.

Rob has categorized more than two hundred types of rain:

Rob McKenna had two hundred and thirty-one different types of rain entered in his little book, and he didn’t like any of them.


Since he had left Denmark the previous afternoon, he had been through types 33 (light pricking drizzle which made the roads slippery), 39 (heavy spotting), 47 to 51 (vertical light drizzle through to sharply slanting light to moderate drizzle freshening), 87 and 88 (two finely distinguished varieties of vertical torrential downpour), 100 (post-downpour squalling, cold), all the sea-storm types between 192 and 213 at once, 123, 124, 126, 127 (mild and intermediate cold gusting, regular and syncopated cab-drumming), 11 (breezy droplets), and now his least favorite of all, 17.

Rain type 17 was a dirty blatter battering against his windshield so hard that it didn’t make much odds whether he had his wipers on or off.

And he describes his diary, how no matter where he's gone it has rained:

"I have a book," he went on, "I have a book. A diary. Kept it for fifteen years. Shows every single place I've ever been. Every day. And also what the weather was like. And it was uniformly," he snarled, "'orrible. All over England, Scotland, Wales I been. All round the Continent, Italy, Germany, back and forth to Denmark, been to Yugoslavia. It's all marked in and charted. Even when I went to visit my brother," he added, "in Seattle."

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    Since OP suggests he is a traveling man, perhaps a salesman, you want to add that McKenna was, as I recall, a long-haul trucker.
    – Kirt
    Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 22:38
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    And it wasn't a short story as such, the book is novel-length, but the Rain God only gets a few paragraphs and they're only loosely connected with the rest of it, so it's plausible that somebody might remember his part in isolation as a short-story-ish piece.
    – G_B
    Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 23:34
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    I've always loved the final sentence in that quote; such efficient characterisation of how the clouds feel about their god, and such a sweet phrasing. They just want to water him!
    – dbmag9
    Commented Aug 12, 2023 at 14:34
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    This answer should have 42 upvotes.
    – Criggie
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 3:36

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